Hope City Board rezones three properties, hears report on Watermelon Festival success

Most of the decisions made during the Hope City Board of Directors meeting Tuesday night were approvals of rezoning requests. But the board also permitted City Director Catherine Cook to sign an engineering contract for starting the process of building an ultraviolet light-based treatment unit at one of the city’s two waste water plants.

A summary of the decisions and discussions for the meeting, a video of which is available below this story:

  • Approval of a change of zoning status from Medium Density Residential to Light Industrial for a location at 2510 Rocky Mound Road. The property has already been used by Tyson Poultry for several years as part of a hatchery. The board heard from Mike Davis, an engineer with Tyson about the purpose of the rezoning being to account more accurately for how the location is being used and to set up the property in preparation for a potential expansion of the hatchery. Davis added that two other towns are being considered for this expansion besides Hope. Mayor Don Still and Cook explained that the city had checked on the capacity of its waste water system to handle the liquid waste from the hatchery and found it to be sufficient. The vote to approve the rezoning was unanimous.
  • Approval of a change in zoning status from Medium Density Residential to Residential Use of a location in the Shover Village Addition to allow the requester to have a mobile home there.
  • Approval of a change in zoning status from Office Commercial to General Retail to allow a daycare at 1203 South Main.
  • Approval of authorizing Cook, Police Chief J.R. Wilson and Hope Financial Advisor Cindy Clark as the only three city employees whose signatures would be used for the Hope Certificate of Deposit accounts. All other such authorizations would be removed.
  • Discussion of the possibility of allowing a requester to pay $100 rental and $100 clean up fee to use the Fair Park’s hog barn to board hunting dogs over two nights on the weekend of October 29. The board decided to table the matter to seek more information.
  • Approval of a contract with Spears Engineering for preparatory engineering service before the setting up of an ultraviolet disinfection unit at the East Plant Wastewater Discharge facility. The total cost for the whole project is projected to be $365,000, with $44,700 for, according to the City Manager’s memo on the subject, “engineering including preparation of plans, specifications and construction inspection.” The goal would be to reduce the amount of poisonous chlorine gas used in water treatment.

During City Manager’s report, Cook said the planning to reduce the scale of the Streetscape Project work to be completed this fiscal year was still proceeding and soon options would be presented to the board. 

Fair Parks Superintendent Summer Powell said in her judgment the Watermelon Festival had been a success based on the size of the crowd, especially Saturday. She said the crowd this year had been the largest she had seen in her six years of service in Hope. The 5K run had over 500 participants. Sixty-five teams competed in the softball tournament and “we didn’t have to call the police over near as much this year, which is great,” though Pafford Emergency Services were called “a couple of times, but police no.” Thirteen teams competed in the Cornhole Tournament.

Mayor Still said he had received a number of compliments from festival-goers. Cook said restaurants and hotels had reported good business during the festival.

Director Mark Ross reported that the Kiwanis and Lions Clubs had served more meals than in past years, with the Lions Club even running out of some food items. Still was complimentary to the Band Boosters in their first year in a long time operating a concession stand.

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During Citizens Request time, Mershell Thomas brought the board’s attention to a problem in Shover Village with residents not receiving their trash bags from the city. Mayor Still and Cook said the board is soon to meet with the Housing Authority to attempt to resolve the matter.

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